Monday, February 23, 2009

Daily Draw - Double or Nothing

This morning, I was greeted by the Queen of Swords. Well, hello there, Queenie! How are you today? A little embattled and somewhat bitter for it? Yeah me too. Oh wait, you ARE me today... I am starting to get the picture.

I really, truly despise getting court cards for my daily draws. I don't know what to do with them. I dislike courts so much that I bought the Oracle Tarot for the sole reason it has no court cards (and the artwork appealed to me that day, but not really any since; which is okay because my seven year old daughter has laid claim to it). Since I dislike court cards so, I decided to draw another card from the top of the deck, for clarity only, I assure you, not possibly to cheat and not have to deal with the court card. The Three of Swords. Well, I didn't shuffle again, so that can't possibly be right. You both go back in the deck, and we will try this whole mess over again. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, ground, center, ground. What do I need to know today, for my own highest good?

Guess who - The Queen of Swords, again, with her little buddy, the Three. Okay, sheesh, I get it. These ARE my cards today. *grumblegrumble* Even though I grumble and I do not feel like dealing with these two today, one of the things I adore about tarot is the synchronicity and you can run but you can't hide mentality. And the cosmic backhands. Some people don't need them, but I do.

There is a tendency of modern tarot to put a happy spin on every card, and being as I am the queen of blowing sunshine out my rear and believing that positivity can only be a good thing, I do not think that is a bad trend. So many people look to tarot as self help and guidance tools, rather than for pure divination, and I think that is great, too. The Queen of Swords embodies a lot of good qualities to embrace, such as a keen (sharp) intelligence, independence, logical thinking, and a general street smart air (my punnies slay me). However, the entire reason I do not read reversals is because I believe no tarot card is inherently good, or bad. They each have a whole range of meaning to them, and it is up to the reader to judge where a card falls in that range, which is what makes the human touch so indispensable for reading cards. There is excellent tarot software available, and plenty of free reading sites, but only a human being has the intuition and ability to really glean out the meanings of a reading. I digress, however.

Back to the Queen - along with all those great qualities about this Queen, let's face it - she can be a real bitch. Sometimes she has reason to be, although taken in that vein, we all do, right? Life has not always been kind to her, and that can make for a hardened old broad. But life is rarely kind to any of us all the time, and we should all be grateful for that, because growth, by its' very nature, is painful.

The Three of Swords has to be one of the most recognizable images from RWS decks, with the three swords piercing straight through the heart as the rain comes pouring down all around it. You do not have to have a good working knowledge of tarot to understand that imagery, for sure. But even though most of us associate this card with the keyword heartache, it's important to remember that grief and loss and crying are all a necessary part of life, and it is important to honor a loss through acknowledging that it hurts to see it go. We can know that it is for the best, and we can be sure that following the three comes the rest and solitude of the four, which brings healing, but to deny emotions simply because they are painful is to cheat ourselves of a very valuable experience. There is no light that does not cast a shadow, and there is no love, of any sort, without a deep sense of vulnerability. C.S. Lewis said, "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal."

When we have been hurt, when we have lost something, it can be very tempting to put on a hardened shell, and act like we don't care. It can be a scary thing to let that first teardrop fall, becuse sometimes we don't know if we are opening a torrent or if we can get by with just the one. I think the Queen of Swords can be like that, making herself hard of heart so that she doesn't feel those swords piercing it. The thing that she, and that pesky three, are here to remind me of today is that there is no way around pain. You can't fly over it, and you can't walk around it, and you can't tunnel under it. You just have to go through it. Pain can be numbed, but it can't be alleviated, only time can make it go away, and the numbing of it just puts off the dealing with it. Am I coward? No. Would I rather face this today than have it sneak up on me and ruin another day? Yes. So that is what I have to do, stop pretending my recent loss doesn't hurt, and just deal with the pain. My heart is only poked, not broken, and even if it was I wouldn't die of a broken heart.

I could also stop being such a right ol' bitch too, huh? *grin*

The base card for the daily draw-turned almost-full-reading is the Five of Cups. Not too long ago, I asked my thirteen year old to flip through the deck and pick a card that showed how he felt. He chose the Five of Cups, in all its' melancholy, teenage emoboy wonder. I laughed to myself, and drew him into a hug, which he tolerated for a full ten seconds or so. "What do you see in this card?" I asked him.

"He knocked his cups over and they spilled and he is sad because you can't get liquid back into cups," he answered.

"But he didn't knock over all his cups," I prodded at him.

"Yeah, I get what you are saying, Mom. But it's hard to be happy for what you have when you just lost something. 'Specially if it is your own fault." I have astute children.

I just lost something that mattered to me. I have been trying to act like it doesn't bother me, that I don't care, that I am strong and that I will go on just as I did before. I need to take time to do two things - 1. Acknowledge and honor that loss and then let it go, and 2. Be grateful for all the wonderful things I still have to celebrate in life. I am strong, and I will go on. I have to do these things because I want to be smart and savvy, strong and courageous, like the Queen of Swords, but I do not want to lose my softness, my ability to love and be loved by taking that energy too far.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” ~C.S. Lewis

My advice card for how to move on came up as the Three of Pentacles. That was my daily draw card two days in a row last week, though I did not blog those daily draws. I need to do work that is fulfilling to me, and I need that to be artistic work, even if I am not getting paid for it. My art is important, and it brings as much healing as it does anything else for me.

Thanks for bearing with me through this long, and kinda emotional post!

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These images are from the Pictorial Key Tarot by Lo Scarabeo.


  1. Thank you for posting this ~ it's really well-written, and I can relate. :)


  2. I hope you will soon be feeling better. This post really expressed how you are feeling.

  3. I'm okay, girls, but I thank you for your well wishes! I promised myself when I started this project that I would be open and honest, and I have tried to be. One of the greatest things about writing is that sometimes, by some magic, once you have written something, it is gone from your radar, exorcised almost.